Last Friday (4/16/2010) was an exciting day! It was our very first combined meeting between the DFW BusinessObjects User Group and the ASUG North Texas/OK Chapter (our new name is now ASUG Dallas Fort-Worth Chapter). We had 3 tracks of presentation, and there were about 150 attendees!
There were some minor logistic issues, but overall the meeting was very successful. I learned my lesson that I should never tell the attendees to go get their coffee refills while I was setting up the laptop. It took us 3, 4 minutes to round everybody up…ha. But it was all good :).
People seem to like the networking reception in the evening prior to the chapter meeting. We might need to provide some more networking opportunity in between presentation and breakout sessions though.
To keep up the momentum, I believe we should do the following…
1. Use the local chapter workspace on asug.com to facilitate discussions and collaboration. I think the workspace is currently under-utilized.
2. Organize roundtables in between quarterly chapter meetings for networking and collaboration. Last couple years, PepsiCo, Texas Instruments, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. have been participating roundtable sessions between the three companies to discuss challenges and to share information. It has been found very beneficial to the participants.
In our chapter meeting, we have officially launched the ASUG BusinessObjects Ambassadors Program. For those who might not know, the idea was started at the ASUG BusinessObjects User Conference last year in Dallas. ASUG CEO Bridgette Chambers held a town hall meeting with about 25 GBN volunteers. They expressed the need to better understand the traditional SAP ERP customer, and to understand how to navigate within the SAP Ecosystem. At the same time, they also expressed that they have a lot of knowledge and expertise that they could share with the ERP customers. So ASUG Headquarters listened and adopted the idea. A few months later, the Ambassadors Program was created.
The following are the names of the ASUG BusinessObjects Ambassadors (in alphabetical order):
Mark Frederick, Ball Corp
Dan Grew, AstraZeneca
Ken Hartman, Hughes Networks
Brad Hay, Worksafe BC
Jamie Oswald, Sisters of Mercy Health System
Dave Rathbun, PepsiCo
Simon To, Rent-A-Center, Inc.
It is the Ambassadors’ duty to foster the collaboration between the traditional ERP ASUG members and the new BusinessObjects ASUG members. What we bring to the traditional SAP users are our knowledge and expertise. What we bring to the platform-agnostic BusinessObjects users is our passion for ASUG, and what it can do for the BusinessObjects users, especially on influencing product development. Never before has this group had the opportunity to meet the product managers and to provide input that could eventually become a part of the product enhancement.
Our community is as great as what we allow it to be. Only by working together as a team, we can build a wonderful and vibrant user community!
p.s. I took some pictures of the meeting, and I will try to upload them to asug.com soon…after I find out how :P.